3 Jul 2014

High Court judge names official

11:46 am on 3 July 2014

A High Court judge has released his reasons for lifting name suppression earlier granted to a Malaysian diplomat accused of trying to rape a Wellington woman.

Muhammad Rizalman.

Muhammad Rizalman. Photo: FACEBOOK

Muhammad Rizalman appeared in the Wellington District Court in May this year on charges of burglary and assault with intent to rape.

Mr Rizalman was granted name suppression at that hearing, but later claimed diplomatic immunity and left New Zealand.

However, the Malaysian Government announced on Wednesday night Mr Rizalman would return to New Zealand to face trial.

Following an urgent hearing in the High Court in Wellington on Tuesday, Justice Collins lifted the suppression order.

Giving his reasons on Wednesday, the judge said the interim suppression order was granted because of the seriousness of the charges and to allow Mr Rizalman to notify his family about them, but there was no statutory basis for that to continue.

Justice Collins said in leaving New Zealand, Mr Rizalman had waived his right to be represented at Tuesday's appeal hearing.